Monday, July 17, 2017

Heart 2 Heart - "In Stitches"

The challenge at Heart 2 Heart this week is "In Stitches". I thought I would start off my post with some hints and suggestions about stitching on paper projects for anyone who may be intimidated by trying this technique. I have been doing it for many years and here are some ideas... 

Stitching by Hand: 
- choose a stitch guide and use a piercing tool to pre-punch the holes 
- embroidery floss is a terrific option to use but 6 strands is too thick - separate the floss into 3 strands and stitch using only 3 strands 
- mix colours of floss for a unique effect
- secure the floss at the back of your project by either taping it down or running it under previous stitches 
- if patterns may not line up at the end (see my example below as I stitched alternate spaces - like if you end up with two stitches side by side) PLAN where you will start and finish so you can hide that part behind or under something like another piece of paper, ribbon, etc. so it will not be visible
- small cross stitches are a terrific way to adhere vellum as no adhesive is required 

Stitching by Machine:
DO NOT EVER stitch over adhesive of any kind! It can gum up the inside of your machine and potentially damage your machine to the point where it cannot be repaired
                    Adhere pieces down in the centre with a thin strip of adhesive that 
                    will not touch the machine mechanism 
- don't be afraid to try various stitch types on your machine - zigzag paired with a straight stitch can look really cool
- it doesn't have to be perfect - lines are often not straight in real life
- plan for the end of the stitch line as you will want to stitch backwards a few stitches to secure the thread in place - this will show
- you will have to secure the start of the thread to the back of your project as well, either by taping it down or tying to to the back
- again, plan for the start and end of your stitching area if you don't want that to be visible
- stitching is a terrific way to adhere vellum or transparencies as no adhesive is required
- use a different needle for paper than for other sewing purposes - it tends to dull faster
- stitch on individual paper pieces rather than the entire project to avoid having to stitch through multiple pieces of paper at once (ex. do photo mounts individually and then the edge of the entire layout rather than doing the mounts AFTER they are adhered to the layout)

Faux Stitching:
- you can always use a fine-tip journaling pen to add stitching marks to a card or layout - it can look very realistic if done with care
- use a variety of strokes - it doesn't have to be just straight lines
- try zigzag stitch marks, alternating dots with lines, even doodle type of markings
- try using co-ordinating colours
- fine tip markers are usually the best choice but they need a bit of time to dry completely
- if you want to to be exact, use a ruler and draw a thin pencil line along the section where you want to "stitch". You can also use a stitch guide for this purpose. DO NOT ERASE the pencil line until you allow sufficient time for the pen or marker to dry completely or you will end up with smudge marks.

I hope this helps :) 
Happy stitching! 

There are a number of ways to interpret the "In Stitches" challenge... the most obvious way is to use some form of stitching on your project, which is what I chose to do. However, there is also being in stitches as in laughing terribly hard, or medical stitches... and that's not a pretty sight! There may be other kinds of stitches - like the types of stitches used to sew up something similar to a book or perhaps a heritage item. 

For this challenge, I chose to create an easel card. I also chose to hand stitch on this card. I used embroidery floss - but not a normal floss. This is a slippery floss and it does not stay together at the ends! It is terribly hard to work with and it slipped out of the needle halfway though my stitching of the second piece of cardstock. I spent the better part of an hour getting it threaded again! 

The flowers and leaves were masked and brushed with our Clear Shimmer Brush and a couple of ribbons and enamel hearts were added to dress it up. 

Join us at Heart 2 Heart and show us your "In Stitches" creation. You have until the end of July to link up with this or any of our July challenges.

Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated: 

Paper: Little Dreamer Paper Pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Lagoon Cardstock
Stamps: Hello Lovely - Scrapbooking (ret.), Sending Smiles
Inks: Lagoon, Thistle, Blossom, Lemon
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge (ret.), Whimsy Ribbon Collection, Purple Hearts Enamel and Glitter Duos, Glitter Embroidery Floss (not CTMH), Foam Tape, White Twine, Clear Shimmer Brush



  1. Good morning Alyson,

    I love your card. You can certainly tell how much time and effort you have put into it.

    Thank you for all the useful information about "stitching" especially when using velum.

  2. I like the big "chunky" stitch look.

  3. Love the Little Dreamer pack, and your masking of your florals and the touch of glitter are very pretty. Again, maybe some day I will pull out my sewing machine if I can't find a stitched die that I can use...just maybe. The bows tie it altogether...beautiful easel card.


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